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Home Tour: Staircase Makeover + Refinished Hardwoods

Outside of our master bathroom renovation I think our staircase makeover and flooring have been among our biggest transformations in our new home! Who knew painting rails would make such a ginormous impact?

Let’s take a look at what we were working with…



Hardwoods Refinishing

We knew refinishing our hardwoods would be a pretty penny to do but we are beyond happy we did it now…because had we not, we probably would have never done it! Also, this project (and interior paint) really transformed the house into home for us. It made our new space feel clean, updated, and more like us!

Originally we had planned to go super dark on our floors. In fact, Matt and I were both split between Jacobean for his vote and Dark Walnut for mine. But after receiving so many comments on my insta-stories advising us not to go dark, we reconsidered our stain. I owe you all a huge thanks for the stern warnings against being slaves to cleaning dark floors. So we asked for 4 more colors to review…

And then we had the kids run all over them to give them the ultimate dirt test and polled our friends a million times before selecting…

50% Dark Walnut mixed with 50% Provincial. And we’ve been REALLY happy with them.

I almost cried happy tears when our hardwoods guy sent me this picture of the freshly stained floors (still very wet here)! A tremendous improvement from the well loved honey stained floors. We also replaced all of the floor return registers throughout the house. Most of the original vents were either broken or severely rusted out and disgusting…

I loved the wicker design on these registers. You can buy them from Amazon or if you’re frugal like me you can go to ebay and buy a set of $15 off $50 printable Lowes coupons for .99 and then buy your registers in quantities of 4 at a time from Lowes. It may not sound like much, but when you need like 20 registers, this savings adds up quickly! I placed all of my orders online for in-store pick-up and I also used ebates for cash back on all of my Lowes purchases! You can sign up for ebates here!

Staircase Banister

The next project was painting the banister. I knew painting the banister was a risky move but it was one I was
willing to take — and I’m so glad I did. I am obsessed with how it turned out. I wanted to go dark for a nice contrast, but not too dark since my walls were painted a super light grey. I spent many, many nights scrolling through Pinterest and researching paint colors. It finally came down to Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron and Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black.

We selected Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron and love that it’s a super dark grey instead of black! It perfectly contrasts our wall paint and flooring.


And a year later we tackled the wall niche!!! We dry walled it up and hung a mirror!

Hardwood Floor Company: Hudson Hardwoods
Wall Paint Color: Benjamin Moore Gray Owl cut 50% in cashmere finish
Trim Color: Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
Banister Color: Benjamin Moore Wrought Iron
Hardwood Stain: 50% Provincial + 50% Dark Walnut
Floor Registers

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Tammie Couture (koo-cher)

Monday 1st of April 2024

Hi can you tell me quickly what you used for polyurethane? We are using the 50/50 provincial and dark walnut stain. Did you use a Matte or satin top coat? My stain is going down in next two days … TY!


Monday 1st of April 2024


Melissa Muhly

Sunday 31st of October 2021

I am just about to choose a stain for my red oak floors. Do you have any regret going this dark with yours? I LOVE how they look but with dogs and cats, I wonder if it would be a lot of work?


Monday 19th of April 2021

LOVE your hardwood and staircase make over! Wowzers what a difference! We are doing a make over on ours as well and I am so happy I ran across your post!! Can you please share with me the species of your floors? Is it red oak? Thank you!!


Sunday 14th of February 2021

Love this!! Especially the color or the floors you went with! What brand of stain was it that you used? I would love to try this.


Friday 5th of February 2021

Love the Provencial stain, can you tell me the brand name please. We have brand new white oak floors and are struggling to find a stain color that is not a honey golden and still light. Thank you